On September 12, 1840, commissioners from the Presbytery of Schuyler effected the organization of this church. Thirteen people were enrolled as members.
Services were held in various places until 1844 when the congregation decided to build a permanent house of worship located at the corner of Market and Clinton Streets (“Old Brick”).
In 1849, elders were ordained and installed as the session of the church.
In the early years of the church, the first building was destroyed by fire and the second sustained severe wind damage when a magnificent steeple was blown off. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, much discussion was had regarding whether or not to renovate the existing building or relocate the church from its original downtown location to a new location on Rochester.
In 1975, the 1856 cornerstone from the old church was moved and relaid at the left of the entrance of the present building on Rochester. The 1975 cornerstone was laid to the right of the entrance. Memorial designations were made as follows: Ryerson Fellowship Hall, Coover Lounge, and the Willis Educational Wing.
In 1977, the Phelps organ was dedicated. Designed specifically for First Presbyterian Church, it was constructed and installed by Lawrence Phelps, an internationally recognized authority who had built and installed pipe organs in many diverse locations.
The building and grounds of First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City continues to evolve to meet the needs of our members and the community in which we serve.
We are members of the Presbyterian Church (USA). To find out more about the Presbyterian Church (USA), visit https://www.pcusa.org/.